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What are the side effects of lupus?

What are the lesser-known symptoms of lupus? My aunt has lupus, and I was recently told (after getting some blood work done) that I have three of the four diagnostic criteria. What problems should I expect to run into, and what should I look for, in case I ever fully develop lupus?
Lupus is an uncommon but potentially very serious autoimmune condition. The doctors who will be well qualified to discuss this issue with you in greater detail include your primary care doctor and your rheumatologist. Diagnosing lupus is very complex and relies on 11 different criteria. You generally have to have 4-6 of these symptoms to be considered to have lupus. The criteria are medically complex, but can be broken down into several larger basic categories: inflammation of mucus membranes and linings around internal organs; skin rashes; kidney problems; arthritis; presence of autoimmune antibodies in the blood; disorders of the blood counts; sun allergies; and neurological problems. As you can see, if there is any concern about lupus, it is not something you can diagnose yourself; rather it requires an extensive physical examination as well as multiple laboratory tests. It is important to complete this diagnostic work up, as if untreated lupus can have some serious consequences, especially for the health of the kidneys. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concerns will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor or your rheumatologist is highly recommended.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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